Parshat Noach 5771: Compromised Principles and Perceived “Larger Cheshbonot”

by Moshe Burt

There is a Midrash Says at the end of Parsha Breish’t (pages 78-80) which is prelude to No’ach and the Mabul. It speaks about Hashem, as it were, Bemoaning His Making of man. The Melachim say to Hashem that they would do far better than man and would sanctify Hashem’s Name. So they came down and were more evil than man.

The Melachim were referred to in Torah as “the sons of judges”, “the lofty ones” for “they took for themselves wives from whomever they chose. And so Gilui Aroyot (coveting illicit intimacies) became the “right of passage” expected by the “lofty ones” — the powers to be of the era and this evil became institutionalized,

The Melachim and their Gilui Aroyot — illicit unions with human women which gave rise to the Nephilim; “the fallen ones” — in Iv’rit Anakim = Giants (no, not the San Francisco Giants) who took who and what they wanted expecting and institutionalizing this usurpation. Therefore, common man, ever more victimized, sunk further and further into evil.

So it seems to this author that today, when man begins compromising his principles, even when having in mind a greater and more lofty cheshbon of self-perceived Kiddush Shem Shemayim, to conform to immoral perceived “authority rules and requirements”, peer group pressures or to perceive one’s self as being highly regarded by others, he is inevitably dragged further and further down the road of compromised principles and morality — each time with the compromise becoming greater and the impact on his society becoming ever more crucial. Each time, however lofty and L’Shem Shemayim the self-perceived larger cheshbon seems, at some point down that road of compromise of principles, the reality evolves that the entirety of these compromises has not been and is not Al Kiddush Shem Shemayim despite one’s own perception of a larger cheshbon of acting L’Shem Shemayim. This is as true, countless times over, regarding national leadership groups purporting “connection” with Gedolim or with groups holding of the highest purposes, as well as for local communal leaderships and for individuals within the Kehal. Leadership entities cannot continue to campaign to the people wearing one set of stripes and then change stripes once they attain governance.

And, having in mind Hashem’s dismay with the state of man in No’ach’s generation, what must He think regarding the state of our darchim in our generations?

May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard, captive Gilad Shalit and the other MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage to stand up as one to prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem, Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.